The name of Piri Reis will be kept alive in the lichen species discovered in Antarctica.

AA | Friday, May 28, 2021 – 16:50 | Last Updated: 28 05 2021 – 16:50

ERU Faculty Member Prof., who named the new species “Leptogium Pirireisii” he discovered on the continent. Dr. Gökhan Halıcı, “Antarctica was discovered in the early 1800s. It is extremely important that it shows Antarctica and the islands in its map 300 years ago.” said.

Erciyes University (ERU) Science Faculty Biology Department Lecturer Prof. Dr. Gökhan Halıcı gave the name of Piri Reis, who reflected the continent on his map 300 years before his discovery, to the new lichen species he identified in the region.

Istanbul Technical University Polar Studies Application and Research Center (PolReC), ERU Prof. Dr. He sent Halıcı to Antarctica on 28 December 2016 for scientific research.

Halıcı, who participated in the scientific studies carried out in 101 research bases belonging to 31 countries in the continent, returned to Turkey with 500 samples from 150 different species during the period of staying in the bases of Ukraine and Czechia.

Continuing his studies on lichens, one of the organisms that successfully live in Antarctica, Halıcı named the new species “Leptogium Pirireisii”, which he discovered among the samples he brought.

Halıcı told Anadolu Agency (AA) that they are trying to classify the lichen samples they collected from Antarctica with the support of TUBITAK.

Stating that they discovered a new species among the samples they collected as a result of the studies, Halıcı said:

“In our biodiversity studies, we determined that one of the samples belongs to a species that has not been previously described in the scientific world. It belongs to a genus called Leptogium. We named this species’ Leptogium Pirireisii.” (New Zealand Journal of Botany) accepted.

Why did we name it Piri Reis? Piri Reis is one of the most admired of the famous Turkish scientists in history. Piri Reis has a world map published in 1513. It is known that he points to Antarctica, South America and the islands there on that map. There are also various rumors about whether he went or not. Antarctica was discovered in the early 1800s. It is extremely important that his map shows Antarctica and islands 300 years ago. I wanted to keep the name of Piri Reis alive in its nature by giving it to a species that spreads there. I’m happy for that too.”

Stating that he collected lichen samples in 2017, Halıcı stated that the discovered lichen differs from the previously described species in terms of morphological and anatomical features.

Halıcı stated that the newly found species was passed through a scientific filter, evaluated by the referees, and deemed suitable and deserved to be published.

Halıcı, who was awarded the Turkish Academy of Sciences Outstanding Young Scientist Award (TÜBA-GEBİP) in 2020, received her award from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in January.